On March 18, 2021, HUD released its 2020 Annual Homeless Assessment Report (AHAR) Part 1 to Congress. The report found that 580,466 people experienced homelessness in the United States on a single night in 2020, an increase of 12,751 people, or 2.2 percent, from 2019.
The report found that between 2019 and 2020, homelessness increased significantly among unsheltered populations and people experiencing chronic homelessness. Veteran homelessness did not decrease compared with 2019, and homelessness among family households did not decrease for the first time since 2010. The report also found that people of color are significantly over-represented among people experiencing homelessness.
“The findings of the 2020 AHAR Part 1 Report are very troubling, even before you consider what COVID-19 has done to make the homelessness crisis worse,” said Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Marcia L. Fudge. “Thanks to President Biden’s leadership, we are once again putting Housing First to end this crisis and build strong, healthy communities, as reflected in the American Rescue Plan. I look forward to working with President Biden to implement this historic package to deliver robust, equitable relief to those experiencing homelessness. Housing should be a right, not a privilege, and ensuring that every American has a safe, stable home is a national imperative.”
“Even a slight pre-pandemic uptick in Veteran homelessness after significant declines since 2010 is extremely concerning,” said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Denis McDonough. “The Biden Administration’s recommitment to Housing First – a proven strategy and dignified way to help Veterans and others achieve stable, permanent housing – will help accelerate progress in preventing and eliminating Veteran homelessness. The American Rescue Plan will also make a major impact in improving outcomes for Veterans by expanding access to community-based homeless prevention and rapid rehousing services for those who may not qualify for VA care.”
HUD releases the Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress (AHAR) in two parts. Part 1 provides Point-in-Time (PIT) estimates, offering a snapshot of homelessness-both sheltered and unsheltered-on a single night. The one-night counts are conducted during the last 10 days of January each year. The PIT counts also provide an estimate of the number of people experiencing homelessness within particular homeless populations such as individuals with chronic patterns of homelessness and veterans experiencing homelessness.
In conjunction with the publishing of the AHAR, HUD publishes the Continuum of Care (CoC) Population and Subpopulation Reports and the CoC Housing Inventory Count Reports. These reports are based on data collected by CoCs during the last 10 days in January and are available at the national and state levels and for each CoC.
Read HUD’s press release for additional key findings of the 2020 AHAR Part 1.